- Claire Kalikman
“If you like this, try that” - Sustainable Swaps for Your Favourite Brands
Updated: Apr 6, 2021
SHOPPING FOR SOMETHING NEW BUT DETERMINED TO MAKE YOUR WARDROBE MORE SUSTAINABLE THIS YEAR? ONE QUICK FIX IS TO SKIP SOME OF THE BIGGER NAMES THAT OPERATE UNDER OUTDATED BUSINESS MODELS, AND SUPPORT ETHICAL AND SUSTAINABLE ALTERNATIVES WITH SIMILAR AESTHETICS. CLAIRE KALIKMAN HAS SOME CURATED RECS FOR YOU.
If you like Los Angeles Apparel, try Ninety Percent
If you’re looking for cool-girl basics, skip the Dov Charney-owned Los Angeles Apparel (remember his controversy with American Apparel?) and instead head over to Ninety Percent. They share 90% of their distributed profits between charitable causes and those who make their collections happen. Their focus areas include: Respectful working environments, sustainable materials, garment longevity, transparency and traceability, animal welfare, water stewardship, emissions and CO2, circularity.
If you like Lululemon, try Boody
This Australian company is making a splash in Europe and the US with its earth-friendly bamboo collections, that include activewear. They work hard to be transparent about their production processes and are part of the 1% for the Planet initiative. Lululemon, on the other hand, has a flash new sustainability report that fails to directly address reports of terrible conditions in some supplier factories.
If you like Chanel, try Anya Hindmarch
Look, we’d all love to own a classic Chanel quilted bag, but we’re not millionaires. And while the luxury leader has started to talk a little more about sustainability, there’s still precious little into made public about the way they make things. Those with deep pockets might consider another luxury option in Brit accessories designer, Anya Hindmarch. Her sustainability journey began as a campaign against single-use plastic bags more than a decade ago - and since then she’s been trailing all sorts of eco-initiatives. Listen to Anya on episode 114. Now she’s making stunning patchwork pieces out of leather offcuts. Pricey, yes, but designed to make a difference to the war on waste.
If you like H&M, try A.BCH
If you’re on the hunt for elevated basics, skip the fast fashion label and head over to Australian brand A.BCH. They are pioneering a circular, season-less system and their clothes come in neutrals as well as fun standout colours (think pops of red and bursts of blue). You can read more about their innovative approach here.
If you like Cartier, try Article 22
What’s better than a Love bracelet? A love bomb bracelet. Article 22 upcycles shrapnel and scrap metal from The Secret War in Laos into jewellery. Though made out of some pretty intense materials, these bracelets are actually quite dainty; and they’re emblazoned with messages such as “I am light, I am love.” For every jewellery item they make, Article 22 donates to MAG, the Mines Advisory Group - an NGO that’s on the ground clearing undetonated bombs so that local families can live and farm in peace. You can hear more about their work on this episode of the podcast where Clare exploded a bomb (yes, really).
If you like & Other Stories, try Ganni
The quirky, feminine style of & Other Stories is appealing, but did you know they’re owned by H&M? Check out another Scandinavian brand, the independently-owned Ganni instead. Their super fun oversized-collar blouses are an IG favourite, that doesn’t cost the earth. Ganni is committed to sustainable practices, although they don’t use that term. You can hear more about how they grapple internally with sustainability issues here.
If you like Madewell, try Outland Denim
Madewell is known for its denim, but did you know they’re owned by J. Crew? Granted, they’ve made some efforts towards sustainability, but they’re nowhere near as advanced as our friends over at Outland Denim. Outland Denim was founded as an avenue for the training and employment of women who have experienced sex trafficking. They exist to eliminate exploitation and welcome 80+ employees from varying challenging backgrounds. Outland is also working to detoxify the notoriously polluting denim industry. You can hear more about their business model here.
If you like Vince, try Good Day Girl
We can appreciate Vince’s well-designed coats and pants, but we’re obsessed with Good Day Girl’s joyous collections - plus, they’re a B Corp! Good Day Girl subscribes to the slow-fashion and made-to-order business model, which means no excess stock AKA fashion waste. This Sydney brand has you covered for timeless everything - from workwear and tees, to easy, breezy summer dresses.